The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Bean Creek: Grant to address run-off

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation might be used to help fund conservation efforts along Bean Creek.

The foundation announced last week it will contribute $5 million toward projects to keep polluted runoff out of the Maumee River.

maumee.valley“Our grants represent only a down payment on the clean-up of the Maumee River,” said Ellen Alberding of the Joyce Foundation, “but they strategically set the stage for local partners to leverage the funding necessary to make larger improvements.”

Four organizations will focus on nine projects in the Maumee River watershed, from Ft. Wayne, Ind., to Lake Erie.

The 8,316 square mile Maumee watershed is described as the largest river system in the Great Lakes region. The Maumee is said to deposit annually five million tons of eroded soil that contains pesticides, fertilizer, toxic chemicals and other forms of potentially harmful runoff.

The Maumee watershed was once a massive, forested wetland, according to the Joyce Foundation, that has slowly been converted into a mosaic of landscapes. Each land use contributes stresses to water quality, from inadequately treated municipal storm water to contemporary agricultural practices.

In the Tiffin River project, farmers will be enlisted to implement changes to help restore the health of the Maumee.

“Working with farmers—who are the front line of conservation—offers one of the greatest opportunities to make significant progress,” said Terry Noto, a consultant for the nonprofit group Environmental Defense.

Environmental Defense will help set up programs for farmers to plant trees and vegetation along the Tiffin River, restore wetlands, and improve sediment and nutrient management for water quality and wildlife habitat.

Environmental Defense is working to have the CREP (Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program) amended in Michigan to include Bean Creek and the St. Joseph River in Hillsdale County.

Participation in a CREP program in the Raisin River watershed was very good, Noto said, and she expects equally good results along the Tiffin and Bean.

From the river gauge station on Fulton County Road 20 north into Michigan, Bean Creek drains approximately 206 square miles

Amending the CREP would include southwest Lenawee County to add to existing efforts already underway in Fulton and Williams counties in Ohio.

“In Michigan we don’t have the green light yet,” Noto said, “but we’re hoping for approval by spring. Then there will be really good tools to use on both sides of the state line.”

Fulton County is included in a CREP program that was launched in September 2006.

Noto appreciates CREP projects for the fact that they aren’t part of a regulatory program. Participation is completely voluntary, although land owners do receive payments for enrolling.


Practices include:

• Buffers of trees and shrubs along streams

• Field windbreaks

• Filter strips

• Wetland restoration

• Shallow-water wildlife areas

• Controlled livestock access

• Conservation easements.


Environmental benefits:

• Protect lakes, rivers, ponds and streams

• Filter runoff water of silt, pesticides and other pollutants

• Replenish water tables

• Protect topsoil from erosion

• Enhance wildlife habitat

• Encourage wildlife diversity

• Reduce flooding

• Increase oxygen levels

    – Feb. 21, 2007

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